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ERIC Number: EJ1055579
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 42
ISSN: ISSN-1443-2110
Assuring Quality in Higher Education: The New Zealand Experience
Weir, Annie
Journal of Institutional Research, v14 n2 p60-72 Nov 2009
With the expansion of higher education across the globe in response to the creation of knowledge economies and learning societies, governments have become increasingly interested in ensuring value for money from their investments. In determining their comparative economic advantage, nation states have increasingly focused on the "quality" of their education provision and knowledge production. Quality assurance has become standard practice and an "output" of universities. However, it is not clear that there are standards of good practice in quality assurance, or that quality assurance processes are internally consistent, and there is some evidence that quality assurance processes are applied without sufficient attention to context. This article describes a study conducted in New Zealand that illustrates the ways institutions have attempted to satisfy both internal and external quality assurance requirements in an era of considerable change in the status, significance and management of higher education. The methodological approach used combined literature review, document analysis, face-to-face interviews and data gathering through a national survey of institutional managers in order to elicit views on internal and external processes of quality assurance. The research showed that increased surveillance by quasi-state quality agencies contributes to a mismatch between established quality assurance processes of educational institutions and those required by quality agencies. In conclusion, quality is an enigmatic notion, challenging the interpretations and implementation strategies of government agencies and tertiary institutions.
Australasian Association for Institutional Research. 546 Gallymont Road, Mandurama, NSW 2792, Australia. +61-2-6367-5347; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand